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Are Children Born Believers..Study says NO!!!

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posted on Jul, 24 2014 @ 05:26 PM
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The ability of young children to distinguish fact from fiction varies considerably with exposure to religion, two new studies have found. Children who did not attend parochial (religious) schools or church were significantly better at identifying characters in religious or fantasy stories as pretend than those who did. The studies have been published in Cognitive Science.

For the investigations, researchers enrolled 5- and 6- year old children and separated them into four groups: children who attend public school and church, children who attend public school but not church, children who attend parochial school and church and children who attend parochial school but not church.

They then exposed the children to three different types of stories- biblical (religious), fantastical (where the divine element was replaced with magic) or realistic (all supernatural elements removed). They then asked the children to judge whether the protagonist (lead character) was fictional or real.

Read more at www.iflscience.com...





In that picture, on the vertical axis, 0 means pretend and 1 means real. So, when it comes to the realistic stories, all the bars are pretty close to 1.
But look at that middle chunk representing the religious stories. Only one group, the bar on the left, correctly said those stories were pretend: The non-church-going kids who attended public school.
Even with the fantastical stories, that same group was most likely to say they were pretend.
The researchers say these results throw that whole theory that children are “born believers” right out the window:



Our central question concerned children’s judgments about the status of story characters in religious stories. Children with exposure to religion — via church attendance, parochial schooling, or both — judged such characters to be real. By contrast, children with no such exposure judged them to be pretend. This sharp discrepancy between children with and without exposure to religion lends no support to the hypothesis that children are “born believers”… with a natural credulity toward extraordinary beings with superhuman powers. Indeed, secular children responded to religious stories in much the same way as they responded to fantastical stories — they judged the protagonist to be pretend.


Read more: www.patheos.com... ction/#ixzz38QTTd5w0


Like all good science the researchers admit the findings of their study is not absolute and there may be some outside variable which has skewed their findings. That is possible but I think unlikely. Overall secular children were able to distinguish between fantasy and fiction while other children with religious influence were not able to. So it seems to me this study shows that belief in the supernatural is taught not inherent at birth.

In the future I would like to see more studies of this nature especially if any other variables become inherent as to narrow it down further. I am wondering if those here can think of some of the variables that may have skewed the results across the board. All input is welcome.




posted on Jul, 24 2014 @ 06:03 PM
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Well, I must say that I am not surprised by this at all. What a person believes is very much related to the influences in their life, culture etc.

This is why babies who are born to Cristian families are raised as Cristian's and usually ( Not always) will grow up to buy into that belief system. Or babies who are born into Jewish Families or Islamic families and so on.

In the case of nature VS. nurture, belief systems are a matter of nurturing.



posted on Jul, 24 2014 @ 06:15 PM
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i just saw this on a website a few minutes ago. i somehow suspected you might jump on it.
edit on 24-7-2014 by TzarChasm because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 24 2014 @ 06:35 PM
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a reply to: Grimpachi

I think a significant point that wasn't examined very deeply in the survey, is the difference between religion and fantasy. I think that there are almost no children today that haven't been exposed to a religious appeal to indoctrinate (one way or the other). Many children are taking in God before they are mature enough to deal with the truth about Santa Claus.
It seems that the only ones who believe the tales of popular fantasy are those who see them as a threat to religion.
If a child is raised with no exposure to the concept of a god, I believe that he will stay blissfully unaware.



posted on Jul, 24 2014 @ 06:39 PM
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a reply to: DirtyLiberalHippie

Like John Lennon said, "Imagine no religion; I wonder if you can..."
I think that he was more spiritual than most of us.



posted on Jul, 24 2014 @ 06:45 PM
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a reply to: Grimpachi

Studies/surveys like these seem like a waste of time.

Of course children aren't born believers. Just like they aren't born believing in Santa Clause or that babies come from storks.

It comes from what their parents and caretakers teach them when they begin to ask the most important life questions. Instead of being given rational answers are given fairy tales instead. Would make sense they would buy into other fairy tales easier since rational thinking is suppressed at an early age.



posted on Jul, 24 2014 @ 07:01 PM
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Since forever children have been taught falseties about the world and realities, either because the grown ups believed it, ie. religious views or the science of the day or because they wanted them to believe it, for example faerie tales (moral stories) and traditions (seasonal practicalities) etc.

Even now, the establishment is churning out falseties to children and adults in the form of one sided history taught at school to outdated science (water being blue not colourless) etc. and the likes of religion.

Children either accept the culture and the teachings of it or they question it and form their own beliefs, often as adults.

Then there are those that wouldn't consider questioning it, such as we sometimes see here on ATS.

The biggest quandary that humankind is UNIQUE amongst animals in it's evolution seems avoided all too conspicuously often IMO. ''Oh really, from ape to standing ape to human to making cars and rockets and bombs and travelling space'' when no other ape or any other species has had such a 'lucky' evolutionary path or even anything remotely like it.

That is the big question that everybody should be asking, evolution as it is taught doesn't cover it by any stretch of the imagination.

Deer, cows, horses etc are all still doing the same deer, cow, horsey things they always did, they didn't suddenly grow a conscience and study philosophy etc, yet people being taught human evolution as just a divergence isn't easy to swallow for the deep thinking.

For me it hints at 'something else' being a major factor, as a child I believed then questioned the Christian teachings from school and Sunday school, as an adult I question the things I have learned from science and continue to see the relevance of both, in a historical and cultural aspect whilst researching developments that are merging the two and giving light to advanced Universal theories.
edit on 24-7-2014 by theabsolutetruth because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 24 2014 @ 07:07 PM
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wanted to add: in the interest of a professional approach, i would ask that you be a little less one-sided in this, grimpachi. i know what your opinions and interests are, but lets keep this a fair and even debate. should it get off the gound i mean.



posted on Jul, 24 2014 @ 07:09 PM
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a reply to: DirtyLiberalHippie

I think you are right about that. The determining factor of what people believe will almost always be where they come from.

However this study says kids in religious environments have a hard time distinguishing between reality and fantasy.



posted on Jul, 24 2014 @ 07:15 PM
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I should add, that such a study might be moot from the start as children answer how they think they should rather than it being their own actual beliefs.

If they were taught 'Jesus was real' then they would say 'real' they might not believe it or even have any true opinion of it themselves because their faculties of reasoning are still developing and it is their natural processes that teach them to show they can follow the things they have been taught.

Basically children are conditioned into 'getting the answers right' about the things they are taught from an early age, school tests etc, are all about showing absorption levels and the ability to 'believe'. None of it is really geared towards 'free thinking' even in creative areas like literature and art.

Essentially, it doesn't make them 'believers' of anything any more than any other group.
edit on 24-7-2014 by theabsolutetruth because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 24 2014 @ 07:46 PM
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Taking what adults tell you as the truth is important for survival - thus 'don't run into the street' is as important as 'don't play alone in the woods' or 'don't approach that saber toothed tiger' may have been in earlier times....

So a child that has an adult tell them what would otherwise be laughable stories about gods getting young women pregnant while planning all along for their son to be tortured and murdered so as to 'die for their sins' before a child even understands what a sin is, is also swallowed hook, line and sinker except by the more thoughtful kids. It's crazy, but everyone acts like it's not, which leaves nearly everyone completely perplexed.

How many of us have 'pledged allegiance to the flag and the nation for which it stands' without even understanding the words, and why on earth do adults require this of young children who cannot understand the words? It's not like they're the newly sworn in POTUS and are supposed to understand the promise, or anything....

Show me someone who has been brought up in a religious household and been told ridiculous-on-their-face lies their entire life, and I'll show you an entire country that can swallow the 'the towers fell from isolated fires and gravity' excuse, too.

And then they'll willingly go to war for revenge, get poisoned, psychologically and physically damaged, and come home to a shrug from the VA system, all based on those same lies. Generation after generation after generation.

Maybe, finally, the internet and the ability to learn the difference between BS and truth before the age of enlistment will change all that.
edit on 584677pmThursdayf46Thu, 24 Jul 2014 19:46:58 -0500America/Chicago by signalfire because: spelling



posted on Jul, 24 2014 @ 08:18 PM
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originally posted by: signalfire


Show me someone who has been brought up in a religious household and been told ridiculous-on-their-face lies their entire life, and I'll show you an entire country that can swallow the 'the towers fell from isolated fires and gravity' excuse, too.



True.

Also, many people grow up in households with parents that behave in the same way the government does. When questions are asked instead of getting an answer that is rational(you can have rational answers that are age appropriate) they get the whole "that's only for us to know".

Not to mention the forming of the mindset that anything authority tells you must be the absolute truth.

At least with the line the above poster stated above about the water being blue is not a lie. It is an observation that leads to more questions.

What color is the water? Well it's blue(which is true, to our eyes it is blue). The child may then ask "Why is it blue?"...which can lead them down three paths depending on the parent. The parent may say "because god made it blue", which leaves no room for further thought. They may say "I don't know" which is an honest answer at least. They may also say the reason that is currently known, which is that water is clear yet reflects blue and absorbs most of the other colors.

It is easy to see that the religious answer leaves no room for critical thought. The child may still seek it but for the most part, why would you question something if it "just is" because a god made it so?

No wonder people swallow anything the government gives them. Government fills the hole of the authoritarian parent growing up. Government is the new religion to which one isn't allowed to ask questions.



posted on Jul, 24 2014 @ 08:29 PM
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a reply to: TzarChasm

Actually it has been a while since I started a thread. I have been busy with only the ability to chime in once in a while on subjects.

a reply to: Diderot

To be honest I would like to see a study done where they asked questions in fantasy that were in no way close to biblical stories to see what the results were. Parting the sea and parting a mountain may confuse young believers.

a reply to: OrphanApology

I would have to disagree because I have seen in these very threads more than a few times where those of the religious nature have claimed children are born believing in a god. It would be good to settle the matter for future debates and conversations.


a reply to: theabsolutetruth

I also think children will emulate what they are brought up with it will be in their teens that they start questioning the validity.

a reply to: TzarChasm

Believe me I really tried to write the thread in a neutral way it isn't always easy to do. I did my best although I did give my personal take on the matter I think we are supposed to give our own in such a way. If it came off inflammatory it wasn't meant to.


a reply to: signalfire

That is why I like studies like these to help us understand what traits are taught and what traits are inherent at birth. As I said before I do think this needs to be explored further until the matter can be considered settled so that we can add that to the body of knowledge to the human race.



posted on Jul, 24 2014 @ 08:53 PM
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a reply to: OrphanApology

Just to clarify, water is actually blue but the textbooks aren't telling it as it is yet.

I knew this in secondary school before science proved it and was basically laughed at in higher chemistry.

It is actually obvious when the facts are considered, like oceans being blue even when the sky is grey. Large amounts of ice show the blue colour etc.

I guess it isn't a well known fact yet because they would have to rewrite all the textbooks.

ece.uprm.edu...


A common misconception is that the ocean is blue due to the reflections from the sky on its surface. This is not true, but was believed to be so decades ago. The real reason the ocean is blue is because water, pure water, is blue. Yes, according to its frequency spectra, water is a very light shade of turquoise blue.
But you need a huge amount of it to really see its color. It’s like a teaspoon of oil, it looks transparent on a white spoon, but in the bottle looks yellowish.

If the ocean owed its color to the sky, it would be a different shade of blue and it would be white on cloudy days. You can see clouds reflected in the surface on the sea, but they don’t completely change its color.
Some constituents of sea water can influence the shade of blue you see in the ocean. This is why it can look greener or bluer in different areas.

Swimming pools with white bottom, would have water that look transparent not turquoise blue, as it is observed even in indoor pools, where there’s no sky to be reflected. The scientific explanation involves the theory of radiative transfer (absorption and scattering), and the material's electromagnetic spectrum.





posted on Jul, 24 2014 @ 09:05 PM
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a reply to: theabsolutetruth

Do you have another source for that? Further down on the same page it has this part:




I asked Prof. Bob Stewart from Texas A&M to explain this in simple words so even kids could understand it, and below is his response.


Why is the ocean blue?
The ocean is blue because it absorbs all the other colors.
The only color left to reflect out of the ocean is blue.
Here is what happens:

Sunlight shines on the ocean, and all the colors of the rainbow go into the water.
Red, yellow, green, and blue all go into the sea.
Then, the sea absorbs the red, yellow,
and green light, leaving the blue light.
Some of the blue light scatters off water molecules,
and the scattered blue light comes back out of the sea. This is the blue you see.
Regards, Bob Stewart



posted on Jul, 24 2014 @ 09:17 PM
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I asked Prof. Bob Stewart from Texas A&M to explain this in simple words so even kids could understand it, and below is his response.


Why is the ocean blue?
The ocean is blue because it absorbs all the other colors.
The only color left to reflect out of the ocean is blue.
Here is what happens:

Sunlight shines on the ocean, and all the colors of the rainbow go into the water.
Red, yellow, green, and blue all go into the sea.
Then, the sea absorbs the red, yellow,
and green light, leaving the blue light.
Some of the blue light scatters off water molecules,
and the scattered blue light comes back out of the sea. This is the blue you see.
Regards, Bob Stewart


Isn't everything like this in the universe?

Colors we see are the only colors that get reflected from objects, the rest of the light spectrum is absorbed



posted on Jul, 24 2014 @ 09:29 PM
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To arrive at the same conclusion than this research, we would have to confine human beings outside of society and see if they make up the idea of God.

How can someone be born with the belief of God if he doesn't know anything yet??
Next research : "Contrary to popular grade school beliefs, children aren't born with a favorite color!"

Stupid stupid research.

Oh and, what is real and what is fantasy anyway?
Go tell to someone who has seen aliens with his own eyes that they are fiction.

Children only distinguish fiction because we told them it was fiction in the first place like we are told to believe in science. I'm not saying I don't believe in science but, for example, we shouldn't accept everything they trow at us simply because it bears the name "scientific".



posted on Jul, 24 2014 @ 09:31 PM
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a reply to: theMediator

That's the way I understand it as well.

The only thing that has a color is light, everything else is a reflection/emission of that light our eyes pick up.



posted on Jul, 24 2014 @ 11:18 PM
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a reply to: OrphanApology




It comes from what their parents and caretakers teach them when they begin to ask the most important life questions. Instead of being given rational answers are given fairy tales instead.


When I was four, my parents called me into the kitchen and told me they were getting a divorce. My dad wanted to take me and my mom wanted to take my sister. I was shocked, and asked "How will Santa know where to deliver the presents?"

My mom flat out said "There is no Santa. We've been giving you presents."

I asked "What about Jesus?"

"Jesus is real" my mom said.

I knew she was lying. My parents didn't divorce either. LIES!


edit on 24-7-2014 by windword because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 25 2014 @ 04:57 AM
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a reply to: OrphanApology

It is true, water, even pure water is blue.

Experiment, optical density charts etc on link.

www.science20.com...


We have all seen supposedly colorless water in a glass and in raindrops on a windshield. If there's little air in it, water even looks colorless when it forms ice cubes. The fixed but incorrect idea that water is intrinsically without color survives in many of our minds even though we all observe various shades of blue in snow or glaciers or in large bodies of water.




I like to demonstrate this by simply using a large 8 inch white mixing bowl. If it's only 1/4 filled, the water still appears like it does when coming out of the tap. But when about 3/4 full, a pale blue colour becomes obvious. The bowl's white background helps because light bounces back and forth within it, allowing even more vibrating water molecules to absorb a red portion of the spectrum. Deprived of a bit of red, water in most of its forms consequently transmit a pale blue light.

One can argue that the tap water I used is not pure. Admittedly, various ions, algae and even suspended silt and mud can definitely introduce all sorts of green and brown hues. If you fill a mixing bowl with deionized water from the lab, which is created by forcing water through an impurity-removing column, the water is still colored.
Here's another picture that looks less greyish. It was obtained by placing the same deionized water in a narrower but taller white container.


According to the Journal of Chem Ed authors, a better way to demonstrate this is to use a 3 m long by 4 cm diameter length of aluminum tubing with a Plexiglass window epoxied to one end of the tube. I tried it with a 2.5 m by 4 cm plastic pipe, sealed with a glass stopper. When I photographed it with a flash, I did see a beautiful blue color, but my control (a picture of the pipe without the water) appeared just as blue!

In order to eliminate the scattering of blue light from suspended particles in water, it's not enough to use deionized water. Microfiltration is also necessary. Once that variable is removed, the persistent blue is sure to come from the 3rd overtone of the oxygen-hydrogen stretching vibration of the water molecule.

In fact, the only way that water will leave white light alone is if its hydrogen atoms are replaced with a heavier form called deuterium. The key absorption peak then shifts into the invisible infrared. The following spectra are from the J of Chem Ed reference cited below, and I've pointed out the differences between purified and deuterated water.




Don't feel bad if you were unaware of the color of water. You have company. When Kurt Nassau published his book on colour in 1983, and even a decade later when an excellent article in the Journal of Chemical Education appeared on the subject, the authors pointed out that many scientists were under the illusion that water was intrinsically without color. I looked through my own books and found in The Flying Circus of Physics a completely incorrect explanation for why a lake can seem blue, attributing it mainly to reflections from the surface.






from 2:30

edit on 25-7-2014 by theabsolutetruth because: (no reason given)



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